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Holden back in the black with new exports

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General Motors Holden revealed a return to profitability for the first time in six years this week. In addition to a 13.6 percent increase in sales putting the company back into the black this year, an export order from the United States to supply Chevrolet police patrol cars based on the Statesman design will boost production at the Holden plant in Elizabeth, South Australia by tens of thousands of units. The company is also supplying VE Series II Commodores to Brazil, defraying some of the $1 billion plus development costs for the Commodore which sent Holden into the red in 2005. The loss of the Pontiac export program to the US in 2009 contributed to a record loss of $210.6 million. "Traditionally we’d relied very heavily on exports to make money, but the GFC and the cancellation of the Pontiac brand in the United States and Canada took around 50,000 G8 export vehicles out of the plant, literally overnight," said Holden chairman and managing director Mike Deveraux. In spite of the high value of the Australian dollar, Deveraux said Holden intends to continue pursuing export opportunities. "We develop these programs for the long haul and the tight exchange situation only further reinforces our need to have a profitable domestic business model," he told the American Chamber of Commerce this week.

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